|Value||5 milles (0.5 cents or 0.005 US dollars)|
|Years of minting||1793–1857|
|Design||Lady Liberty with braided hair|
|Design||Denomination surrounded by a wreath|
The half cent was the smallest denomination of United States coin ever minted. It was first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857. It was minted with five different designs.
First authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792 on April 2, 1792,  the coin was produced in the United States from 1793 to 1857. The half-cent piece was made of 100% copper and was valued at five milles, or one two-hundredth of a dollar. It was slightly smaller than a modern U.S. quarter with diameters 22 mm (1793), 23.5 mm (1794–1836) and 23 mm (1840–1857).  Coinage was discontinued by the Coinage Act of February 21, 1857. They were all produced at the Philadelphia Mint.
There are several different types of half cents:
There are no mint marks on any of the coins (all minted at the Philadelphia Mint) and the edges are plain on most half cents. On the 1793, 1794 and some 1795 coins and a variety of the 1797 coin, it was lettered TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR and another 1797 variety had a gripped, or milled, edge.
Liberty Cap, facing left
Liberty Cap, facing right
Classic Head (Shown at top right)
The cent, the United States one-cent coin, often called the "penny", is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. It has been the lowest face-value physical unit of U.S. currency since the abolition of the half-cent in 1857. The first U.S. cent was produced in 1787, and the cent has been issued primarily as a copper or copper-plated coin throughout its history.
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
Robert Scot (October 2, 1745 – November 3, 1823) was a Scottish-American engraver who served as Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1793 until his death in 1823. He was succeeded by William Kneass. Scot designed the popular and rare Flowing Hair dollar coinage along with the Liberty Cap half cent. Scot is perhaps best known for his design, the Draped Bust, which was used on many silver and copper coins. Robert Scot was the most prolific engraver of early American patriotic iconography, with symbols and images depicting rebellion, unity, victory, and liberty throughout his career in America.
The Seated Liberty dollar was a dollar coin struck by the United States Mint from 1840 to 1873 and designed by its chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht. It was the last silver coin of that denomination to be struck before passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, which temporarily ended production of the silver dollar for American commerce. The coin's obverse is based on that of the Gobrecht dollar, which had been minted experimentally from 1836 to 1839. However, the soaring eagle used on the reverse of the Gobrecht dollar was not used; instead, the United States Mint (Mint) used a heraldic eagle, based on a design by late Mint Chief Engraver John Reich first utilized on coins in 1807.
The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint after production of that denomination had been halted in 1806. The coin was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well received by the public.
The Draped Bust dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1795 to 1803, and was reproduced, dated 1804, into the 1850s. The design succeeded the Flowing Hair dollar, which began mintage in 1794 and was the first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint. The designer is unknown, though the distinction is usually credited to artist Gilbert Stuart. The model is also unknown, though Ann Willing Bingham has been suggested.
The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. The coin was minted in 1794 and 1795; its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas.
The Indian Head cent, also known as an Indian Head penny, was a one-cent coin ($0.01) produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint.
The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 11⁄8 inch (28.57 mm). The first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793, and its production continued until 1857, when it was officially replaced by the modern-size one-cent coin.
The Flying Eagle cent is a one-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States as a pattern coin in 1856 and for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, with the eagle in flight based on the work of Longacre's predecessor, Christian Gobrecht.
The quarter eagle was a gold coin issued by the United States with a value of two hundred and fifty cents, or two dollars and fifty cents. It was given its name in the Coinage Act of 1792, as a derivation from the US ten-dollar eagle coin.
The three-dollar piece was a gold coin produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1854 to 1889. Authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853, the coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre. The obverse bears a representation of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress of a Native American princess and the reverse a wreath of corn, wheat, cotton, and tobacco.
"Draped Bust" was the name given to a design of United States coins. It appeared on much of the regular-issue copper and silver United States coinage, 1796–1807. It was designed by engraver Robert Scot.
The Liberty Cap large cent was a type of large cent struck by the United States Mint from 1793 until 1796, when it was replaced by the Draped Bust large cent. The coin features an image of the goddess of Liberty and her accompanying Phrygian cap.
The Classic Head was a coin design issued by the United States Mint in the early 19th century. It was introduced for copper coinage in 1808 by engraver John Reich and later redesigned and improved by Chief Engraver William Kneass.
The Coronet large cent was a type of large cent issued by the United States Mint at the Philadelphia Mint from 1816 until 1839.
The Turban Head eagle, also known as the Capped Bust eagle, was a ten-dollar gold piece, or eagle, struck by the United States Mint from 1795 to 1804. The piece was designed by Robert Scot, and was the first in the eagle series, which continued until the Mint ceased striking gold coins for circulation in 1933. The common name is a misnomer; Liberty does not wear a turban but a cap, believed by some to be a pileus or Phrygian cap : her hair twisting around the headgear makes it resemble a turban.
Flowing Hair coinage was issued in the United States between 1793 and 1795. The design was used for the first half dime, half dollar, dollar, and the first two large cents.
The Liberty Cap half cent was the first half cent coin produced by the United States Mint. It was issued from 1793 until 1797.